It's in the detail

Why Am I Writing This? Where To Find Your ‘Writer’s Voice’.

July 3rd, 2012 by Catharine Ashdown

The best scripts are the ones that need to be written.

Obvious, when you stop to think about it. Only with a growing checklist of screenplay ‘musts’, the writer might be forgiven for overlooking a few fundamental questions:

Why am I writing this particular story and what makes me the only writer to tell it?

Because if you can’t answer that, chances are the Producer/Script Executive on the receiving end of your script won’t be able to either. A question mark instead hangs over your writing. It’s a good screenplay, with a sound structure – so why doesn’t the story grab them?

Their response, should you be lucky enough to elicit one, might well refer to the lack of a ‘writer’s voice’. Rough translation: Whilst they appreciate the skill of your screenplay, they’re in the dark as to your inspiration for writing it.

Taking the time, to define your need to pick that pen up in the first place, goes a long way towards setting your writing apart.┬áIt’s this personal writing theme – the idea or emotion driving your writing – that gives your story its underlying meaning, one that can still be heard over competing scripts on a similar subject. It can also act as a writing tool, a starting-point to return to in the confusion of different drafts and questions from producers, directors and (fingers crossed) actors.

An understanding, finally, of your own work that turns the knowing ‘how to write’, into a script that gives a voice to your story.


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